The Differences Between Ball Bearing Types

Posted May 30, 2015 by admin

Bearings allow certain devices to spin or roll, reducing friction between the spinning and still surfaces. These devices allow constrained “rolling” motions and are essential to tires and basically any device that moves or rolls. There are four main types of ball bearings: radial, self-aligning, miniature precision, and inserts, with each variation serving a different purpose. If you’ve ever wondered what these different types are all about, prepare to be enlightened.

Radial - As one of the most popular types of ball bearings, the Radial bearing is built with an inner and outer ring, as well as precision balls. The deep-grooved build of radial ball bearings allow for higher rotation speeds and are able to support high radial and thrust loads.

Self-Aligning - Self-aligning bearings contain a double row of balls and can be produced with either tapered or straight bores. This bearing is created with the least amount of friction. Self-aligning bearings are generally used when there is a misalignment from shaft deflection, assembly errors, or mounting. This bearing will correctly realign without creating stress, and allows bearings to operate at higher rotational speeds.

Miniature Precision - This bearing is aptly named, as these small gems are used for precision jobs. This bearing has an internal diameter smaller than 3/8 inches, or 9.525 mm and are able to operate at extremely high speeds. Miniature ball bearings are useful in devices where space is limited.

Insert - For specific applications you’ll want to look into insert ball bearings. These feature an inner ring to provide shaft support. Insert bearings, sometimes referred to as “Y-bearings”, are fixed into a locked position and work wonderfully for easy replacements. This bearing is built as a unit, or as a single piece and are designed for easy and quick mounting.

More Causes of Bearing Failure

Posted May 27, 2015 by admin

The response to our recent post about bearing failure pointed out something we forgot to mention.  That’s certainly not an exhaustive list of failure causes.  In the interest of being thorough, we thought we would continue the list with a few more common causes of bearing failure and damage.

Vibration Brinell - Also known as false brinell, this is a situation where the balls are moving rapidly around the raceway even when idle.  Without the bearing continuing to spin, lubrication will settle to the underside of the bearing and parts of the metal will wear down as the balls continue to spin.

Poor Lubrication - On the subject of lubrication, this chemical additive to the rotation process is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the bearing structure.  With incorrect or improper lubrication, the balls can increase temperature and wear at the raceways.

Stress Fatigue - When a bearing takes on an excessive load from one side, the stress reversals on the interior ball bearings can create flexing of the metal.  This flexing wears on the metal, puts in tension and compresses it.  This metal will eventually begin to flake away as a result.

High Temperatures - Most premature bearing failure in the field is caused by excessive temperatures and conditions.  High temperatures, be they atmospheric or due to excess friction, can cause the lubricant inside the bearing to boil and bleed reducing its effectiveness.  Any oxidation that occurs in these conditions will deposit bits of carbon in the bearing that can cause blockage and failure.  Even the metal itself can take damage from excessive heat.  High temperatures are a big enemy of bearings overall.

A few other culprits have claimed their fair share of bearings including rust caused by dampness in storage and a failure to properly clean and maintain the bearing.  The important part is the diagnostic process.  Trust only the best and most careful team to quality test and maintain your bearings.